Paul and the Vocation of Israel: How Paul's Jewish Identity Informs his Apostolic Ministry, with Special Reference to Romans

Paul and the Vocation of Israel: How Paul's Jewish Identity Informs his Apostolic Ministry, with Special Reference to Romans

by Lionel J. Windsor

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Overview

The Apostle Paul was the greatest early missionary of the Christian gospel. He was also, by his own admission, an Israelite. How can both these realities coexist in one individual? This book argues that Paul viewed his mission to the Gentiles, in and of itself, as the primary expression of his Jewish identity. The concept of Israel's divine vocation is used to shed fresh light on a number of much-debated passages in Paul's letter to the Romans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783110331882
Publisher: De Gruyter
Publication date: 03/17/2014
Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft Series , #205
Pages: 317
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.03(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lionel J. Windsor, Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Paul's Jewish identity 3

1.2 The vocational dimension of Jewish identity 9

1.3 Romans: An exercise in Jewish vocation 15

1.4 Preview of the argument 19

2 Review of literature 22

2.1 Paul's apostolic mission and Israel's vocation 22

2.1.1 "Patterns of religion" approaches 22

2.1.2 Albert Schweitzer 25

2.1.3 Johannes Munck 26

2.1.4 Krister Stendahl 27

2.1.5 Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr 28

2.1.6 Stanley Stowers 29

2.1.7 James Dunn 31

2.1.8 N. T. Wright 32

2.1.9 Terence Donaldson 35

2.2 Related issues 36

2.2.1 The relationship between Jewish identity and Christ-believing identity 36

2.2.2 The debate over Jewish "mission" 40

2.3 Summary 43

3 Paul's language of Jewish identity 44

3.1 Jewish distinctiveness 45

3.1.1 "Jew" and "circumcision": Terms of Jewish distinctiveness 45

3.1.2 Common objections to the notion of Jewish distinctiveness in Paul 47

3.1.2.1 Gentiles as the "seed of Abraham"? 48

3.1.2.2 An inclusive use of "Israel" in Rom 9-11? 48

3.1.2.3 Paul's definition of "Israel" in terms of God's "call" (Rom 9:6b-13) 49

3.1.2.4 The metaphor of the olive tree (Rom 11:17-24) 51

3.1.2.5 "We are the circumcision" (Phil 3:3) 53

3.1.2.6 The "Israel of God" (Gal 6:16) 55

3.1.2.7 Christians as "spiritual" Jews? (Rom 2:28-29) 61

3.1.3 An ethnic distinctiveness 61

3.1.4 A theological distinctiveness 64

3.2 Jewish identity and divine revelation 67

3.2.1 Jewish identity and the Law of Moses 68

3.2.2 "Israelites" and divine revelation 73

3.2.3 "Hebrews" and divine revelation 76

3.3 Jewish identity and divine vocation 78

3.3.1 The Law of Moses: A basis for Jewish vocation 78

3.3.2 Abraham's fatherhood / seed: A paradigm for Jewish vocation 82

3.3.2.1 In Paul's letters 82

3.3.2.2 In Paul's Jewish context 84

3.3.3 "Judaism" / "zeal": Paul's former expression of Jewish vocation 89

3.3.4 Paul's opposition to alternative expressions of Jewish vocation 93

3.4 Summary: Paul's language of Jewish identity 94

4 The Jewishness of Paul's vocation (Romans 1:1-15 & 15:14-33) 96

4.1 Paul and the Isaianic Servant 99

4.1.1 Paul's identification with the Isaianic Servant: Evidence 100

4.1.2 Paul's identification with the isaianic Servant: Common objections 104

4.1.2.1 Δouλoζ: A term of humility? 104

4.1.2.2 Δouλoζ: A common term for believers? 107

4.1.2.3 Δouλoζ: An economic or political allusion? 109

4.1.3 Paul's identification with the Isaianic Servant: Significance 111

4.2 Paul and Israel's priesthood 112

4.2.1 Paul's consecration 112

4.2.2 Paul's priestly ministry 114

4.3 Paul and contemporary expressions of Jewish vocation 119

4.3.1 "Proselytism"? 121

4.3.2 Accommodation? 126

4.3.3 Apologetics? 127

4.3.4 Israel as a global priesthood? 129

4.3.5 Eschatological expectations 130

4.3.6 Apparent anomalies 135

4.4 Summary: Paul's fulfilment of Israel's eschatological vocation 137

5 Paul's contest over Jewish identity (Romans 2:17 - 29) 140

5.1 Romans 2:17-29 as an argument about Jewish identity 140

5.1.1 The discrete function of Rom 2:17-29 within the argument of Romans 144

5.1.2 The social context of Rom 2:17-29: the Jewish synagogue 147

5.1.3 The unity of Rom 2:17-29 151

5.2 Jewish identity and the Law (Romans 2:17-20) 152

5.2.1 The Law and Jewish privilege (Rom 2:17-18) 153

5.2.2 The Law and Jewish vocation (Rom 2:19-20) 156

5.2.2.1 Jewish Law and the teaching of Gentiles 156

5.2.2.2 The identity of Paul's interlocutor 161

5.3 Jewish identity deconstructed (Romans 2:21-27) 163

5.3.1 The failure of Law-teaching (Rom 2:21-24) 163

5.3.1.1 Jewish transgression of the Law (w. 21-22) 164

5.3.1.2 The failure of Jewish vocation to the nations (w. 23-24) 168

5.3.2 The failure of circumcision (Rom 2:25-27) 170

5.3.2.1 A commonly held truth (v. 25) 174

5.3.2.2 A contested issue (v. 26) 176

5.3.2.3 The radical consequences (v. 27) 180

5.4 Jewish identity redefined (Romans 2:28-29) 181

5.4.1 Jewish identity: Not in the mainstream synagogue 184

5.4.2 Jewish identity: Within the Christ-believing community 185

5.4.3 Jewish honour: Not from people, but from God 189

5.5 Summary: Paul's contest over Jewish identity 191

6 Paul's fulfilment of Israel's vocation (Romans 9-11) 195

6.1 Paul's vocation: The framework for Romans 9-11 195

6.1.1 The prominence of Paul's persona in Rom 9-11 196

6.1.2 Tensions concerning Israel's vocation in Rom 9-11 198

6.1.3 Paul's first-person resolution of these tensions 200

6.2 Paul and Israel: Conflicting vocations (Romans 9:1-5) 202

6.2.1 The apostolic identification with Israel (Rom 9:1-3) 203

6.2.2 Israel's purpose in light of the apostolic vocation (Rom 9:4-5) 206

6.3 Paul and Israel: Competing vocations (Romans 10) 210

6.3.1 Israel's failed vocation (Rom 10:1-4) 212

6.3.2 The apostolic preaching vocation (Rom 10:5-13) 216

6.3.3 The apostolic fulfilment of Israel's vocation (Rom 10:14-18) 220

6.3.4 The ongoing failure of Israel's vocation (Rom 10:19-21) 228

6.4 Paul and Israel: Converging vocations (Romans 11) 230

6.4.1 The apostle as the paradigmatic Israelite (Rom 11:1-2a) 231

6.4.1.1 The inadequacy of alternative proposals 232

6.4.1.2 Paul's self-description and Israel's vocation 235

6.4.2 The apostle against Israel (Rom 11: 2b-10) 239

6.4.3 The apostle and Israel: Complementary vocations (Rom 11:11-14) 240

6.4.4 The apostle and Israel: Corresponding vocations (Rom 11:15-16) 244

6.4.5 The apostle's vocation and Israel's salvation 244

6.5 Summary: Paul's fulfilment of Israel's vocation in Romans 9 - 11 246

7 Conclusions 248

7.1 Summary of the argument 249

7.2 Implications for further study 252

Bibliography 255

Index of Ancient Texts 278

Index of Modern Authors 301

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